Another study last year highlighted that optimum fruit and vegetable intake should actually be at least 7 –a day to have a protective effect on health (particularly in the prevention of certain cancers and heart disease).
Ideally you should aim for at least 5 portions of vegetables and 2-3 portions of fruit. Here are some tips to increase your intake:
• Soups and salads (depending on the recipe these could give you between 2 -3 portions in one meal).
• Fruit on cereal - adding a banana or a handful of berries could contribute 1 portion. Better still make up your own muesli mix with oats, coconut, nuts, seeds and a little dried fruit. Soak overnight and serve with a portion of fresh fruit – this is then 2 portions of fruit.
• Snacks : Carrots, cucumber or celery with hummus and mashed avocado dip, celery sticks with peanut butter, 2 medjool dates with peanut butter, a few raisins or prunes mixed with some nuts and seeds. An easy boost of 1 portion.
• Juices: Favour vegetable juices over fruit to manage fructose (sugar) intake. Bear in mind that shop bought juices, especially those made from concentrates have little nutritional value as they have been highly processed.
• Smoothies: Be wary of piling too much fruit in but if made with whole vegetables and fruit these can make up 2 of your 7 a day.
• Stir fries: Quick, easy and between 2 - 3 portions.
• Pulses: Add 3 tbsp of lentils or cooked beans to a curry, soup or salad. This will give you 1 portion. Adding lots of vegetables too will obviously up your intake.
Member since: 7th February 2012
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